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FMFR Applicability on "Streets and Highways" only?

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August 03, 2005, 06:57
FMFR Applicability on "Streets and Highways" only?
Is TRC 601 applicable in a parking lot or other similar areas which are not "streets and highways"? DPS interprets it applicable only on "streets and highways" but is their interpretation binding on metropolitan PD's? Our PD has new policy stating officers SHALL issue FMFR citations in parking lots. Is policy proper?

[This message was edited by jrotert on 08-03-05 at .]
August 03, 2005, 09:08
What has V.T.C.S. art. 6701h, s 2(a) been codified to in the TRC?
August 03, 2005, 09:36
It appears that 6701h s 2(a) is now TRC s 601.021. You might look at the Tx. Admin. Code section for DPS's financial responsibility rules:$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=4&ti=37&pt=1&ch=25&rl=Y. I don't see anything restricting the application of the insurance requirement to streets and highways. The statute (601.051) says "[a] person may not operate a motor vehicle in this state" without establishing financial responsibility. There is an old AG's opinion regarding DPS's rulemaking authority in this area, finding it binding on other agencies:

Perhaps the DPS policy you cite is merely intended as an enforcement policy for their own troopers and not as rule applicable to other agencies?
August 03, 2005, 10:13
In that TXOAG opinion it states (in part):

We believe the legislature delegated rulemaking authority solely to the department to provide uniformity in the administration and construction of the act.

In the interest of "uniformity in the administration and construction" could it not be inferred that the legislature intended that DPS's interpretation of SR be binding on all LEA's?

Also, the TX Admin. Code does make several references to SR applying only to "highways":

1.) TXAC Title 37 Part 1 Chapter 3 Subchapter A Rule 3.4 Accidents and Violations--Private Ways and Places(sorry for sloppy cite--I'm not an attorney):

a) Department interpretations. Department interpretations of territorial applicability of this Act are as follows.

(1) Law applies--ways--reportable but safety responsibility does not apply:
(A) business-owned access way, road, or street open to the public; .....

Also TXAC Title 37 Part 1 Chapter 25 Rule 25.21 Compulsory Insurance--Compliance and Enforcement:

(b) Enforcement policy. Commissioned members of this department shall request an owner and/or operator of a motor vehicle upon a public highway to furnish information concerning evidence of financial responsibility when practical in all traffic stops or investigations of motor vehicle traffic accidents. Enforcement action will be initiated in accordance with established guidelines.